Remote Area Medical Volunteering

This ELI grant provided funds for students to exercise their desire to serve others through remote medical care. Students were able to get involved with helping others in a very personal way through Remote Area Medical clinics (RAM). RAM is a nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics whose mission is to provide quality healthcare to underserved and uninsured individuals. This ELI project permitted eight FHU students the opportunity to travel to Mayfield, KY and Springfield, TN to work with RAM to serve those in need through volunteer service. Through the Remote Area Medical clinics, it was also FHU's desire that the students would be able to gain a new perspective on the disparities existing within communities across the country.

RAM Feature

Eight FHU students from a variety of healthcare majors spent between three to six days at the Mayfield, KY and Springfield, TN Remote Area Medical clinics. The students observed healthcare disparities in underserved communities, which allowed the students to reflect on these disparities and build a desire to serve in the future once the students become a healthcare provider. While at the clinics, the students offered their time and talent serving in a variety of areas within the clinic, including the vision section where they performed pretesting and acuity tests, dental sterilization where they helped to clean dental instruments, and/or patient check-in or check-out. In addition, the students were able to assist in the organization, execution, and clean-up process of the clinics, which will help to prepare them in their efforts to lead the Henderson, TN RAM clinic in fall 2022.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?

Wendy Gean: From a pre-health arts advisor perspective, I constantly hear students say “I want to help people” as their motivation for wanting to enter healthcare. While that is a noble reason to enter the profession, it is only a statement. This ELI grant provided funds for students to exercise those desires and learn how to help others. Students were able to get involved with helping others in a very personal way through these RAM clinics. These funds allowed many students who would not be able to help due to financial constraints to travel to and from the summer clinic sites. In conversations with several who were involved in the summer travel, they have found these to be eye opening and have bred a deeper desire to serve others once they become a healthcare provider.

Students: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Cameron Kuhl: The opportunity to serve struggling communities allowed me to look at American cities and towns from a new perspective. It is easy for me to pass through little Southern towns and ignore the need that a large portion of that town’s population has. I have gotten used to ignoring that need and, as a result, have forgotten that the people who need the services the Remote Area Medical provides not only exist but exist in large numbers. These trips to clinics confronted me with the faces of this portion of the American population, forcing me to relate to them on a personal level and serve them. This project put these struggling people into my life and allowed me to show Christ’s love to them in one of the most fundamental ways: helping them feel better physically.

Ben Dedeyan: Serving the community through Remote Area Medical has been very beneficial, both mentally and academically. It allowed me to reflect on my own place in the world as someone who can serve, and it reinforced my desire to enter the medical field. I’m so thankful for the ways I’ve been able to help people!

RAM Feature